Quigley Recaps Climate Change Tour in Everglades National Park
WASHINGTON – Last week, U.S. Representatives Mike Quigley (IL-05), who serves as Vice Chair of the Sustainable Energy & Environment Coalition, joined Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Carol Shea-Porter for a two-day climate change tour in the Everglades where they discussed the threat of climate change and other environmental concerns in the face of the Trump Administration. The Members visited ground zero sites of Hurricane Irma destruction and met with National Park Service (NPS) employees and climate researches for a firsthand look at various climate change concerns, including the death of sea grass, the rise in land subsidence, and the destruction of habitats of numerous rare and unique species.
“Climate change is a threat everywhere, but few places illustrate the impacts as clearly as our National Parks,” said Rep. Quigley. “Our National Parks, including the Everglades, are not only some of our most treasured natural places, they are also unique and delicate ecosystems that human and animal communities rely upon. Unfortunately, development and water management over the past century have cut the size of the Everglades in half and reduced the life-sustaining freshwater supply in the area by 60 percent. The careful balance of life in the region could be pushed over the edge by climate impacts, which threaten to increase temperature, create conditions for more frequent and severe extreme weather, and further reduce freshwater availability. I’ve been proud to visit two of our National Parks through my ongoing climate change tours, and while each possess vastly different environments, both are squarely in the cross-hairs of climate change. In response to the unfathomable inaction by this Administration, it is long past due for Congress to take the urgent action needed to address the climate crisis and ensure a low-carbon, resilient future for our public lands and every future generation.”
“Touring the Florida Everglades provided an important reminder that the devastating effects of climate change have significant consequences in our own backyard,” said Rep. Wasserman Schultz. “Climate change will continue to have an impact on Florida’s fisheries, tourism industry, and natural ecosystems. That is why we must take action – globally, nationally, and locally – to protect our state’s economy and conserve these precious resources for future generations to enjoy.”
“Over a two-day trip to the Everglades last week, I saw firsthand how climate change is impacting our parks, and I was able to view some of the damage caused by Hurricane Irma,” said Rep. Shea-Porter. “The Everglades has less than 50% of the freshwater it once had, which is leading to the death of sea grass and the destruction of habitats for rare species. Without action, there won’t be enough freshwater. Sea levels are rising, flooding streets along the coast even on sunny days. Climate change is harming our environment, and we are all responsible for protecting and preserving this national treasure.”
“We commend Vice-Chair Rep. Quigley and SEEC Members Reps. Shea-Porter and Wasserman Shultz for their leadership in bringing attention to the impacts of climate change on our national parks, and especially, on the Everglades and the communities of South Florida,” said SEEC Co-Chairs Reps. Paul Tonko, Gerry Connolly, and Doris Matsui. “We can and must do more to protect Americans and our treasured public lands from sea-level rise, extreme storms, and the many other threats of climate change. We look forward to continuing to work on these important issues as a caucus.”
This was Rep. Quigley’s second climate change tour. Last year, he visited Rocky Mountain National Park as part of his #RepInTheRockies visit to bring attention to the issue of climate change in our national parks.